I am 5'8-9" (though I used to be 5"10...) and currently about 240 lbs. (I was 350...)on my way to 200-ish (my Dr. wants to re-evaluate when I get to 200). My legs swell fairly severely due to surgery I had for metastatic cancer about 10 years ago. They gave me the statistics that essentially no one survived more than 2 years with what I had and the Docs are still amazed that I am alive at this point. I am amazed but also very thankful and grateful...and happy about it! It has changed my perspective totally, I really look at each day as a gift now.
Anyway. The tradeoff is that they had to take out all the lymph nodes in my groin (bilaterally) and lower abdomen (I am a medical professional so I will try to keep this general!) which causes something called lymphedema. I get fairly massive swelling, it is estimated that on any given day I am carrying an extra 15-40 lbs. of fluid in my somewhat short (29" inseam) legs. This is what makes a traditional kayak so challenging (that and my size 11 1/2 feet!). I have had an opportunity to sit in both, and they will let me test them in the water (which I plan to do) but I think you are getting to the heart of my question with the statements about needing to stick to calmer water and the possibility of the spray skirts imploding. While I would love to get the Kayak sooner rather than later I am trying to figure out if the smaller cockpit would truly be preferable (which it is sounding like it truly may be) and if that is the case I should probably wait until I am done losing all my weight before making a final decision. The weight loss really doesn't affect the swelling significantly at all, but losing the fat does make my legs smaller so I may be able to fit more comfortably in the smaller cockpit. The larger sport cockpit would be just fine right now.
Thanks for the input, all is gladly welcomed!
Rescue / Throw Bags
First Need Purifier
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